Dáil Éireann - Volume 658 - 01 July, 2008
Written Answers. - European Council Meetings.
Deputy Tom Sheahan Deputy Tom Sheahan
Deputy Tom Sheahan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food his discussions in Europe with Commissioner Borg and the lack of direct financial assistance being secured on behalf of struggling fishermen here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25597/08]
Deputy Brendan Smith Deputy Brendan Smith
Deputy Brendan Smith: Minister Killeen and I attended the Council of Fisheries meeting in Luxembourg last week where we conveyed in the strongest possible terms the depth of feeling of Irish fishermen on this matter and the seriousness of the situation facing them. We outlined a strong case for a package of EU-funded measures to address the current difficulties experienced by fishermen across Europe, particularly in Ireland.
I am particularly pleased with the progress made in a number of areas of concern to Irish fishermen and I believe the meeting was positive as regards the restructuring of the industry and action to combat illegal fishing.
 I welcome the agreement reached at Council on a new regulation to combat landings of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fish from within and outside the EU.
I pressed the Commission to examine new initiatives at EU level to increase the return received by fishermen at the quayside and improved labelling to assist customers. I also asked the Commission to bring forward initiatives on research and innovation into ways to develop more fuel-efficient engines and fishing practices.
I was particularly pleased with the support offered by a number of other Member States and with the response of the EU Fisheries Commissioner Borg, who has undertaken to come back to the next Council meeting on the 15th July with definitive proposals to address the issues facing fishermen. I expect these proposals to include a package of EU funded measures.
Dáil Éireann 658 Written Answers. European Council Meetings.